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eG Foodblog: HhLodesign - On Food and Architecture


hhlodesign
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Can you tell us if you have any particular favorite chefs or architects?

I really admire the work of Thom Mayne of Morphosis

and Rem Koolhaas of OMA.

They are both taking architecture beyond simply building, but thinking about human interaction with space, innovative uses of textures and materials, and redefining how we think about buildings.

In that same regard, I have to admire Ferran Adria. Although I've never eaten at el bulli, I have the 98-02 book (to simply call it a cookbook would be blasphemous) His devotion to innovation, creativity, experimental attitude, and perfectionism is something I strive for. God! I want to eat there!!!

As far as chefs whose food I've eaten (not counting the local places I will be talking about in this blog), I've had some great meals at Danube and Bouley and try to get to one of them every time I'm in NY.

I had a meal at Chez Pannise a few years ago and was very impressed. And how can I not acknowledge the innovations attributed to Alice Waters!

I'm still trying to get a meal at the French Laundry, but the open face lamb sandwich I had at Bouchon was wonderful, not to mention the French onion soup (someone I was with asked if he could get it with no cheese or beef, really!) His books are two of the most beautiful in my collection and from everything I've read, I'd say Thomas Keller would have to be on my list of favorites.

Edited to add: How can I forget Mario Batali. The only American who truely gets how to do Italian right! Not to mention his dad's skills at curing meat. You'll all be seeing that on Wednesday.

Then, of course, there is the guy (or girl) who makes my "cheeseburger animal style" from In-N-Out, any Italian grandmother, and my mom!

By the way...is that a skateboard I see in the kitchen?

I grew up in Southern California and always have a skateboard around. It's funny how many people comment on that. My place was in a local magazine last year and the photographer wanted a shot of me skateboarding through the space (which I often do). Concrete floors are great! It also give me just enough extra height to reach the upper cabinets above my open shelving, and I take it down to the Market sometimes.

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Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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Intriguing – creative use of space and local. 

Have you heard of “Eating Architecture” Edited by Jamie Horwitz and Paulette Singley -- 2004 MIT Press? 

Some interesting observations on the interaction of Food and Architecture.

Wow! I just looked it up and ordered it on Amazon.

"Antonin Careme, father of French cuisine, claimed, "Most noble of all the arts is architecture, and its greatest manifestation is the art of the pastry chef.""

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"Sopranos Pot Luck"

Shopped at the Pike Place Market for my ingredients, but I'll have a whole entry about the Market in a future installment. Here's just a teaser photo.

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My plan was to make eggplant parmesiano because I thought some vegetarian friends of mine were coming, but they ended up eating at Veil instead. So I decided to call them out on National Media. "Real nice Aaron and Stacy!"

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I love my Salumi apron!

But I thought it would be fun nonetheless. First I sliced up the eggplant, salted them and let them drain for about 30 mins.

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Then came the chopping.

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garlic

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onions

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parsley (flat leaf of course!)

after pressing the eggplant dry on paper towels, it was time to bread them.

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I put some chinese 5 spice and cayanne in the flower. the breadcrumbs are panko.

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While they roasted in the oven, I made the marinera. Just garlic, onions (everything good starts with garlic and onions!), a can of San Marzanos, oregano, and basil. I also added some curry powder and anchovy paste.

Finally I assembled it all together with parm, assiago, and mozz.

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Then it was upstairs to watch the Sopranos. I had mentioned before how I am friends with many people in the building I live in. Mardi and Dion live on the 3rd floor and they have a huge loft. We purchased an LCD projector together last year (for a Super Bowl Party) and we lug it back and forth between our homes depending on who want to use it. Tonight they had it.

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Here's the problem with Italian Pot Lucks. Not enough food, and too many bottles of Chianti. That's what happened tonight. William brought a very nice antipasta platter (forgot to take a pic), Melissa made a wonderful tiramisu,

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and Tom brought biscotti and vinsanto.

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It was a very fun evening.

Time to go for a run and work off some of that food.

Good night!

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Back when I was little--the age at which most boys answer the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with "A fireman!" or "A cowboy!"--I answered it, "I want to be an architect!"

Didn't come to pass, sorry to say. But writing has its pleasures too.

It's never too late!

Great work so far.  You may even be able to get away without the obligatory inside-the-fridge shot.  :wink:

My inside the fridge shot is not that exciting. I tend to walk down to the market and buy ingredients fresh when I want to cook. It's nice because I can go during the day because I work for myself. It's usually a nice half hour break from work, and usually combine shopping with lunch.

But here you go:

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All the beer is leftover from a party I had. I don't really drink beer, so they tend to linger til the next party.

I think I'm addicted to Pelligrino.

I have some tofu marinating to be grilled.

leftover Cole slaw that I made last week (should be thrown out)

leftover chili I made last week (must be thrown out!)

You always have to have a bottle of white chilling!

I usually keep some scallions, onions, carrots, spinach, leaks, and peppers around.

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I tend to walk down to the market and buy ingredients fresh when I want to cook. It's nice because I can go during the day ...

I think you just described paradise.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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great Blog, really enjoying it. Love your abode as well, reminds of a place i used to live in, esp. as we always have a skateboard floating around our place as well. Seattle is a great city, being from Vancouver, I come down there a few times a year, and tomorro is one of them, we are going to see a band (Gomez) at the triple door, can you recommend any places to dine near that venue.

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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Continuing along with this blog has got me really inspired, with the plays on scale all through it. People who design their own living spaces rank very high in my esteem, Henry. :wub: Thanks for taking us on this journey, it's got me thinking about all kinds of great ideas. Seattle looks very cool and I love that sandwich shop, I like the outside, the sign, the way it's worn along the edges.

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great Blog, really enjoying it. Love your abode as well, reminds of a place i used to live in, esp. as we always have a skateboard floating around our place as well. Seattle is a great city, being from Vancouver, I come down there a few times a year, and tomorro is one of them, we are going to see a band (Gomez) at the triple door, can you recommend any places to dine near that venue.

Many people in Seattle seem to like Wild Ginger. It's just upstairs from the Triple Door. In fact, I think they share the same kitchen. I am not one of those people.

Just down the street is a great place called Union. Nothing else in the area comes close.

I might also check out the Library Bistro. I haven't been there since Matt Costello (the old chef) left for The Inn at Langely. But it was very good back then.

It's also 25 for $25 month. 3 course dinners for $25. The participants near the Triple door are Wild Ginger, Tulio, Earth and Ocean, and Sazerac.

You heard what I think of Wild Ginger.

Tulio is fantastic since the chef came back from a stint at Troiani.

Earth and Ocean I am boycotting because they refuse to serve foie gras. (Kidding, but it does make me pause) I hear Maria Hines is very good, but i haven't been there since she took over from Jonathan Sundstrom. Which reminds me, Jon Sundstrom at Lark is doing some great things.

Sazerac I've never been to.

Although I would agree wholeheartedly with this article:

25 for $25 is bulls#@t

Gomez huh? You'll have to tell us how the show was. And where you ate!

Edited to add: All the girls seem to like the Mango Daq at Wild Ginger. They probabley serve it at triple door too.

Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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I want a Salumi apron too!  :wub:

Did you use a recipe for the eggplant parmesiano? I made one awhile back using Emeril's recipe (it has meat) and it was pretty good. I haven't thought of putting in anchovy paste in the sauce...sounds like a good addition!  :smile:

You'll have to let me know when you come down. I'm always up for a trip to Salumi.

They did this dish on America's Test Kitchen a few weeks ago (my favorite cooking show). I watch many cooking shows and read many cookbooks, but try to create dishes from memory. This way I'm not truely following a recipe and can change things as I wish. It might be a fine line, but following recipes makes me feel less creative.

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I am really enjoying this blog Henry. I think it is so cool that you are getting to see how a restaurants runs.

I also like your living space and it reminds me of a Japanese architect called Kei ichi Irie.

Here is a link to his website.

WOW! You pay me the ultimate compliment! I love the Work of Kei ichi Irie!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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My Godparents are going to Kyoto in April. I wanted to recommend a great Kaiseki Ryori place (The one I went to was mediocre). Anyone have any suggestions?

I should mention that my love for food has been greatly influenced by my Godparents. As far as I'm concerned, my godmother is the best Szechuan home cook in America! She even rigged up a propane powered burner in her backyard just so she could get a fire hot enough to do real stir fry dishes. The average residential gas range puts out 12,000 to 15,000 BTUs. I think she gets close to 30,000 with her little contraption. I'll see if I can get a picture of it.

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Seattle Sandwich Tour Stop #2

Matt's in the Market

This is a great little sit down joint hidden away upstairs in the Sanitary Market (A section of the Pike Place Market) I love it because they make great food, and tourists don't seem to find it as much.

You enter from street level by climbing some very unobstrusive stairs to a beautiful skylit atrium.

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They have a counter which overlooks the kitchen. This is where I usually sit, but it was full today.

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So we sat at the window overlooking the Market and the Puget Sound.

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You can't really tell from the photo, but you can see the Sound from this seat.

I had the Mama Lil's honkin' hot albacore tuna sandwich.

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the tuna is crusted with wasabi and seared rare. It's served with a mustard pickel relish. Not as hot as you would expect froom the name, but a wonderful flavor. The wasabi is actually very subtle. It's served on Macrina potato bread, ny favorite bakery in the city.

My friend Aaron is a vegetarian, so he had the roasted portabella sandwich.

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Its serve with peppers, onions, and Beecher's flagship cheese. Beecher's is an artisan cheese shop downstairs from Matt's. They make their own cheese right on the premises.

Matt's used to have an eggplant grinder that made my ten best list.

But it has since left the menu. Here's hoping it makes a comeback!

They also do a cornmeal crusted catfish sandwich that is pretty incredible.

Almost forgot to add a picture of Matt.

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Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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My Godparents are going to Kyoto in April. I wanted to recommend a great Kaiseki Ryori place (The one I went to was mediocre). Anyone have any suggestions?

Hyotei? I've never been there, but I've heard good things about it from my co-workers. Lunch prices start at Y22 500 (about US$200), and dinner prices start at Y25 000.

But if they want a great kaiseki experience, Kitcho is the place I most want to visit. Lunch starts at around Y37 000, while dinner starts at Y42 000. I've been trying to get someone to go with me, but no one I know wants to spend that much on lunch or dinner! So if they need company, I'd be happy to join them! :biggrin:

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Seattle Sandwich Tour Stop #2

Matt's in the Market

This is a great little sit down joint hidden away upstairs in the Sanitary Market (A section of the Pike Place Market) I love it because they make great food, and tourists don't seem to find it as much. They have a counter which overlooks the kitchen. This is where I usually sit, but it was full today.

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We love Matt's!

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This was our view last time we were there! :laugh:I think our cook was better lookin' too!

Really enjoying this Henry. As a kitchen designer, the parallels between my craft and cooking are a little more obvious, but I look at my work much in the same way as you.

A professional question: How do you keep your work "fresh" and do you find that same technique translates into your cooking?

A.

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We love Matt's!

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This was our view last time we were there! :laugh:I think our cook was better lookin' too!

Really enjoying this Henry.  As a kitchen designer, the parallels between my craft and cooking are a little more obvious, but I look at my work much in the same way as you.

A professional question:  How do you keep your work "fresh" and do you find that same technique translates into your cooking?

Damn! Its gonna be hard to get work done this week. I hope my clients aren't reading this.

Your cook was definitely better looking! I would have asked her out years ago if she wasn't married to Frank from Frank's Produce downstairs. (where I get all my produce)

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I'm not sure how to keep my work "fresh." Ideally, I try to keep up with current movements in art, gastronomy, culture, fashion, film, music, graphic arts, etc. Basically anything and everything I can input into my head, because it all influences my work. This is much easier said than done of course. I don't like to look at architecture mags and such because I don't want my work to be derrivitive of what the trendy architects were doing 6 months ago (about the time it takes for works to get published). I say this but, of course I look at architecture mags all the time. Sometimes its easier just to have ideals, than to hold to them. You've hit on something that I am continually struggling with. What about you?

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I'm not sure how to keep my work "fresh." Ideally, I try to keep up with current movements in art, gastronomy, culture, fashion, film, music, graphic arts, etc.

<SNIP>

Sometimes its easier just to have ideals, than to hold to them. You've hit on something that I am continually struggling with. What about you?

Me? I use alcohol. :laugh:

I agree completely with regards to magazines, etc ... I receive kitchen design magazines all the time. Most of them end up in the recycling bin without me even looking at them. After all, their job is to sell magazines, so they tend not to be very "cutting edge" ... more mass market.

I try to find influence in places outside my comfort zone ... fashion design is a big one, as well as the tactile arts like ceramics and sculpture. I find youth-culture a good source of inspiration as well ... underground comics & videos, X-Games.

And then once I have all these ideas, I typically put them away and churn out yet another Shaker kitchen. *sign*

This is where the alcohol comes in.

A.

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Damn! Its gonna be hard to get work done this week. I hope my clients aren't reading this.

Your cook was definitely better looking! I would have asked her out years ago if she wasn't married to Frank from Frank's Produce downstairs. (where I get all my produce)

They only got married a year ago...

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